Paying it forward. The art of giving back! By Stacey Blanchet

Generally speaking, we all like to think of ourselves as good people.  Do we look up enough from our phones to be present in the real world? When the time comes to do something that requires genuine courage, do we act?

Trend Prive Magazine launched a ‘Humanity Challenge’ to their employees and readers.  It is a bold act indeed.   They are hoping for a movement.  Is it enough to do a challenge and pass it along to say we did enough?  At a certain point in your life, you must start taking stock at who you are as a person.  Regardless of how your life started out, at some point you are responsible for you.  Have you mastered the ‘Art of Giving Back”?

As one of the Senior Editors, this challenge seemed right up my alley.  I belong to a family that has mastered this skill quite nicely.  My parents set examples early for my brother and I to always be aware of doing the right thing.  As always, I discuss issues with my family.  Challenge was talked about and plan springs into action.  Enter my mother, Attorney Sharon Blanchet, as she decided to spear head the challenge.   Her employees at ‘ABC Family Law’ and my clients at ‘Your Own Girl Friday’ jumped on board and before we knew it, we had a movement.  Our challenge was for the homeless.

“Cleaning out our closets” here we come!  The collection of tote bags was high on our list.  As the shopping began it was important to build around the essentials of what would be needed for life on the streets.  We have been told the zip lock bags are a must.  Then you build on all the things we take for granted.  The simple tasks of; brushing our teeth, shampooing our hair, putting lotion on our skin and being able to bath with soap is what makes us feel normal.

We live in beautiful San Diego, California where the weather begs you for that worshiping the sun lifestyle.  Because of our beaches, it is easy to see why the migration to our coastline is the destination of choice.  If you look it isn’t hard to spot the young and old on our streets.   Most, are just trying to survive from day to day.  They lost hope a long time ago.
We decided to collect twenty-five bags of necessities and goodies along with $10.00 to be passed out on Valentines’ day.   It was our way of saying “you are special and not forgotten.   We see you”.  As we passed out the bags, there were smiles all around but what we couldn’t escape was the sense of community they have formed.  They shared bags.  Made sure each other got what they needed.

Some turned down items so that we could pass to others.   And, in several cases they offered us gifts.   Several wanted to hug us and know our names personally.
As I watched my mother hug and start up conversations with the homeless, you can see that she connected.   She validated them and said “I see you.  And, I care”.   Because of her example, we are masters in the art of giving back.

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